Well said. And it sounds like we have the same type of luck on ski trips. I almost wonder if its best to pick a destination where I don't expect too much--that way I go in with low expectations, and am pleasantly surprised when I get, say, that powder day at Sun Valley (not that SV has bad snow. It just doesn't snow much.)
(Not that this matters for the skiing but c'mon, you guys know that Howe Sound, Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuch aren't the ocean, right? The ocean is the ocean, inland saltwater sounds and waterways are just that. Squamish is not on the ocean--you have to travel almost 200 miles to reach the ocean from Squamish. The Strait of Juan de Fuca is LONG).
The Sierra Nevada are about that far from the ocean as well. There are mountains on Vancouver Island up to 2000m which do suck some moisture from the storms, as do the not nearly so high coastal mountains of California. Compare that to the US Rockies--which are separated from the coast by a thousand miles of Great Basin desert and are in the rain shadow of the Sierra. Whistler and the Sierra both receive all or nearly all of their precipitation from Pacific storms, unlike the Rockies, who's weather is influenced by the remnants of Pacific storms but also by weather coming down from Canada, from the south (especially in the summer), and from the Great Plains. Whistler and the Sierra would both be considered maritime ranges, as opposed to the continental ranges of the rockies. Maritime ranges tend to have warmer temperatures, more precipitation, and higher water content snow than continental ranges. The operative word is "tends" which means no one knows what it's going to do on any given week.